Celebrate the lentil in the “Year of the Pulse” with Cauliflower Red Lentil and Potato Curry!
Hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s celebration! My deepest and sincere appreciation to all of you for your support, feedback and for following From A Chef’s Kitchen! Here’s to a great year ahead!
Recently I’ve noticed a common theme in my Facebook feed and in other food-related stories: Predicted food trends for 2016.
Here are just a few of the news stories:
These food trend predictions are always fun to read. If I were seriously into keeping up with trends, I would look back every year at which took off and which were… Meh….not so much. Jumping-for-joy that molecular gastronomy and using liquid nitrogen to instantly and weirdly freeze things is now “yesterday’s news.” Never quite understood that whole thing!
The predictions are all over the board, but one I’ve seen in numerous places is that lentils will hit it big this year. In fact, the United Nations has proclaimed 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses and established January 6th as a day to love and celebrate pulses. Besides lentils, pulses also include chickpeas, beans and peas. They’re a great, inexpensive source of protein.
I’m glad lentils are finally getting their due! I’m a lentil-lover from way back. I have always loved this “tale” from Anthony de Mello:
“The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, “If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.” Said Diogenes, “Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king.”
My Cauliflower Red Lentil and Potato Curry is a spicy and flavorful way to love and celebrate the lentil. Red lentils cook very quickly and practically melt into the dish they’re in. If using brown or green lentils (which take longer to cook), you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. My recommendation would be to cook them separately then add them to the dish at the very end.
No matter which type of lentil you use, it’s always a good idea to look them over for odd-looking bits, stones and stems. I spread them out on a white paper plate to look them over then bend the plate to guide them into the pot.
Now, you could go to the trouble of making your own curry spice blend, but I prefer to use a good blend such as the Madras curry from Penzeys.
My Cauliflower Red Lentil and Potato Curry is the perfect recipe to play around with by varying or adding vegetables such as green beans or spinach, and for protein, chickpeas instead of potatoes would be perfect!
Happy International Pulse Day, everyone!
Celebrate the lentil with this Indian-inspired Cauliflower, Red Lentil and Potato Curry!
- 4 tablespoons olive or canola, divided
- 1 small head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red, green or yellow bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder, such as Penzeys
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (15-ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils, picked over
- 1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until just tender, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large, shallow pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add curry powder, ginger, garlic and stir 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, red lentils and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover slightly and simmer 15-20 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are tender.
Stir in cauliflower and heat through. Add the cilantro and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
MAKE-AHEAD: Can be prepared up to two days ahead. Heat on high in the microwave until hot, stirring halfway through.